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December 29, 2005

Moz. convict saves the day for court

From: The Swazi Observer - Mbabane,Swaziland - Dec 29, 2005

PERSISTENT shortage of interpreters at the Mbabane Magistrates’ Court continues to make operations difficult for court officials.

The day was yesterday saved by a convicted illegal immigrant, who volunteered to interpret after a fellow Mozambican told the court that he was not conversant with the siSwati language.

Frank Masangane offered the assistance immediately after being fined E100 by Mbabane Senior Magistrate Lorraine Hlophe for illegally residing in the country.

The incident follows another whereby a female police officer recently invited the wrath of the country’s deaf community for volunteering to interpret for a deaf suspect.

This happened after the court failed to secure the services of a qualified interpreter.

This particular incident invoked complaints from the Swaziland National Association of the Deaf (SNAD), which questioned the officer’s credentials.

On the recent case, after stepping down the accused’s dock, Masangane donned the ‘cap’ of court interpreter.

This happened during the hearing of a case in which his fellow countryman was charged for stealing meat from a client.

Albino Nsimbini beat all odds when he allegedly helped himself to the contents of a refrigerator, on which he had been commissioned to do repairs.

He told the court, through the ‘interpreter’, that he took possession of the meat after his client, identified as Phetsile, had failed to pay the agreed repair fees. For his shenanigans, Nsimbini had to pay a E600 fine.

Standing in for the crown in the matter was public prosecutor Melusi Lukhele.

Contacted on the issue of interpreters, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Mumcy Dlamini said she was not in a position to respond as she was out of the country.

© 2005 The Swazi Observer